This column originally appeared at the barbershop notebooks where Sex with Timaree runs Monday. Check back here every Monday, Wednesday and Friday for fresh content!
Question to the Sexpert:
“At the barbershop the other week there was a discussion about re-tightening the vagina. Someone made the suggestion that Kegel exercises work just as well in helping a woman enhance her vaginal area. My inquiry is simple: What is the proper technique to use in doing a Kegel exercise? Do I need to use something to do Kegel Exercises? (I vaguely remember an old boyfriend telling me pleasure pearls work well.) Can Kegel exercises really add to a woman’s overall sexual experience?”
Ahh, Kegels. Even if you never make it to the gym, even if you never get your ass off the damn couch for any reason other than to grab more cheesecake and potato chips, you too can have some riptastically toned muscles in your nether providences. And that goes for guys as well as ladies.
Pubococcygeus muscles, also known as PC muscles, also known as pelvic floor muscles, also known as Kegels (after the physician who brought modern public attention to the potential benefits), are involved in a number of important functions, not the least of which are sexual. Besides preventing urinary incontinence, curing pelvic prolapse and making pregnancy more comfortable, strengthening the PC muscles can definitely improve a person’s sex life.
For women, having a strong set of Kegels means being able to clench down more tightly during penetration and frankly, it doesn’t feel half bad just by itself. For men, toning those muscles can serve as a method of preventing premature ejaculation. People who are pregnant, have recently given birth or who are overweight are ideal candidates for pubococcygeus muscle workouts, but everyone can benefit from including them into their lat, delt and quad routines.
Now you’re probably thinking, “all right, Timaree, I’m sold on it. But what the hell are you talking about? Where are these damn things? What am I supposed to do, lift free weights with my cooter?”
Well, yeah, kind of. You can start with basic clenching (we’ll get to that, don’t worry) but to add resistance and become substantially stronger, women will want to practice clamping down on specially designed barbells available at adult toy stores (they often double as sex toys). Men can only pretty much clamp down their muscles, there are no products they can insert to add resistance….But let’s start from the beginning.
STEP ONE: LOCATE THEM
Next time you’re peeing, concentrate on stopping the flow of urine midstream. The sensation you feel is the flexing of your pelvic floor and sphincter muscles: the exact contractions you’ll be repeating over and over. ***Important note: don’t make a habit of practicing these exercises while urinating because it’s really, really not good for you. Empty your bladder prior to putting in a PC workout.
STEP TWO: DENISE AUSTIN FOR YOUR HOOHA
For beginners, try to start incorporating some Kegel flexing into your everyday activities three times a day. Simply clench for five seconds and relax for two about ten times per session. Try variations like holding the contraction for longer and longer or making the motions faster and faster. The nice thing is that you can work these muscles while riding the train, sitting in a meeting, talking on the phone, etc and no one is the wiser.
As a pilates instructor I’d like to also add that along with core strengthening, lengthening and stretching, regular pilates exercises are a fantastic shortcut to stronger Kegels.
STEP THREE: ADVANCED CLASS
So you think you’re a badass, huh? You’ve been doing Kegels since I was getting my hair did for Junior Prom? All right, showoff, work up to 200-300 reps a day and start including more fancy moves like increasing or decreasing the degree of tension with each squeeze and relax (the effect has been likened to an elevator stopping at different floors), and yes, using BenWa balls or vaginal barbells for resistance.
WHAT THIS DOES DO
After a month or so, you’ll likely see dramatic improvements in sexual pleasure for both you and penetrative partners as well as urinary continence, which becomes increasingly important with age. Men can discover substantially increased abilities to delay ejaculation with in a month and a half.
WHAT THIS DOESN’T DO
Some people have big vaginas, some people have small vaginas, just as they have different sized everything elses. These activities cannot change that. But a vaginal opening stretched by childbirth can snap back into shape.. Kegels also aren’t necessarily going to make you orgasmic if intercourse doesn’t currently get you off, either, while it will likely make it more fun.
So if you made it your New Year’s Resolution to work out more but are already missing the gym more days than not, at least you can be doing these exercises.
Do you have a question or comment? Please email Timaree directly at email@example.com